Translating genomic information into clinical medicine: lung cancer as a paradigm.
We are currently in an era of rapidly expanding knowledge about the genetic landscape and architectural blueprints of various cancers. These discoveries have led to a new taxonomy of malignant diseases based upon clinically relevant molecular alterations in addition to histology or tissue of origin. The new molecularly based classification holds the promise of rational rather than empiric approaches for the treatment of cancer patients. However, the accelerated pace of discovery and the expanding number of targeted anti-cancer therapies present a significant challenge for healthcare practitioners to remain informed and up-to-date on how to apply cutting-edge discoveries into daily clinical practice. In this Perspective, we use lung cancer as a paradigm to discuss challenges related to translating genomic information into the clinic, and we present one approach we took at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center to address these challenges.